I visited a friend in Hawaii on the Big Island, whose entire yard was an avocado orchard. These were the big ones, too--nearly the size of cantelopes. We simply picked up a few dozen of these behemoths, and he made a huge batch of guacamole. The taste was unforgettable and I fell in love with the avocado.
I consider avocadoes a superfood because of its outstanding nutritional benefits--more and more as research continues. The latest buzz is that certain compounds in avocados are able to seek out pre-cancerous and cancerous oral cancer cells and destroy them without harming healthy cells. The high oleic acid content in avos prevents other cancers, too, mainly breast cancer. Here are some more great benefits of avos:
• Eye Health - Avocados have more of the carotenoid lutein than any other commonly consumed fruit. Lutein protects against macular degeneration and cataracts, two disabling age-related eye diseases.
• Lower Cholesterol - Avocados are high in beta-sitosterol, a compound that has been shown to lower cholesterol levels. In one study, 45 volunteers experienced an average drop in cholesterol of 17% after eating avocados for only one week.
• Heart Health - One cup of avocado has 23% of the recommended daily value of folate. Studies show that people who eat diets rich in folate have a much lower incidence of heart disease than those who don't. The vitamin E, monounsaturated fats, and glutathione in avocado are also great for your heart.
• Stroke Prevention - The high levels of folate in avocado are also protective against strokes. People who eat diets rich in folate have a much lower risk of stroke than those who don't.
• Better Nutrient Absorption - Research has found that certain nutrients are absorbed better when eaten with avocado. In one study, when participants ate a salad containing avocados, they absorbed five times the amount of carotenoids (a group of nutrients that includes lycopene and beta carotene) than those who didn't include avocados.
• Glutathione Source - Avocados are an excellent source of glutathione, an important antioxidant that researchers say is important in preventing aging, cancer, and heart disease.
• Vitamin E Powerhouse - Avocados are the best fruit source of vitamin E, an essential vitamin that protects against many diseases and helps maintains overall health.
So, eat freely of this great superfood!